Importing Aliexpress via China Post Questions

zantetsuken

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Oct 10, 2012
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34
#1
Hello, I'm starting up a new business and I decided import my products from China as it seems to be the only way to be competitive in today's market.

I placed an order through Aliexpress via China Post, through Aliexpress you have to designate a physical address for delivery. So here are my questions:

1. Does China Post track the parcel internationally, if not how will I find out where the item is once it's in South Africa (eg. Which Customs in specific)?

2. Where can I pick up the item, or will it be delivered to my doorstep?

3. My buyer protection ends in 60 days but according to the supplier delivery can take between 15-60 days, should I be concerned?

Thank you :)
 

Jola

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Sep 22, 2005
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17,169
#2
1) Sometimes you can track, but not always. Once it leaves China it becomes difficult.

2) Usually pick up from Post Office.

3) You can usually extend the protection, I recently had to extend the protection to 120 days.


Your problem is the SA Post Office, they are completely unreliable.
 

roskii

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Jan 20, 2010
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418
#3
Bought 3 small items from Aliexpress in September last year. Only 1 arrived 3 months later via China Post. Tracking ends once it leaves the main Chinese hub (was Guangdong for the one package). Was delivered to my house directly. No duties / VAT paid.
 

zantetsuken

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Oct 10, 2012
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#4
Thanks for your quick response Jola, it sounds like you have a lot of experience from Aliexpress.

How would I know which customs my parcel is at? In case I have to pay import tax.
How do you track a parcel once it enters the country?
With regards to picking up from post office, how would they identify the parcel? Would it be via the original tracking number?

Thanks again :)
 

zantetsuken

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#5
Wow, did you manage to get a refund on the other items that never arrived?
How was the delivery done, via courier or regular post?
I'm concerned that the postman will just leave the item on my gate and then anyone walking past the street can just take it.
 

lsheed_cn

Expert Member
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Sep 14, 2008
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2,564
#6
China Post is horrible for tracking, its also slow.
EMS is better.

China post can take up to 6 months for delivery, and thats prior to the Post Office Strikes here.
I usually lose 1 in 3 China Post packages as they just don't arrive.
 

zantetsuken

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#7
China Post is horrible for tracking, its also slow.
EMS is better.

China post can take up to 6 months for delivery, and thats prior to the Post Office Strikes here.
I usually lose 1 in 3 China Post packages as they just don't arrive.
I would have used EMS but their shipping fees cut into my profit margin quite a lot, usually costing more than double the price of the actual product.
 

bromster

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Nov 2, 2012
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#8
You pay customs duty, VAT and the clearance fees at the post office when you collect. That is assuming your customs declaration form was clearly visible on the package and was declared correctly. If not, customs may detain the parcel at the International Mail Centre behind O.R Tambo. You will be required to present your invoice before the parcel is released. If you don't have one, a customs officer will go through the package with you and assess its value. If your customs value doesn't match the invoice value, you run the risk of it being incinerated and you will be heavily fined. Up to 300% of the item's value if I recall.
 

zantetsuken

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#9
You pay customs duty, VAT and the clearance fees at the post office when you collect. That is assuming your customs declaration form was clearly visible on the package and was declared correctly. If not, customs may detain the parcel at the International Mail Centre behind O.R Tambo. You will be required to present your invoice before the parcel is released. If you don't have one, a customs officer will go through the package with you and assess its value. If your customs value doesn't match the invoice value, you run the risk of it being incinerated and you will be heavily fined. Up to 300% of the item's value if I recall.
Paying customs tax only seems fair, though how would I know when it's ready for collection at the post office?
 

lsheed_cn

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#10
They'll send you a note.

Or you'll get a paper saying go collect from the routing office i.e cape mail. In Cape Town thats near Pinelands in Epping industria.
You can also ask at the post office, if you have the reference number.

China post is absolutely horrible for tracking though.

You do realise that most of the costs of things are shipping and taxes, right? (and clearance charges if you ship stuff)
Costs for things in China are cheap.

Best for you to pick something with larger margins if shipping is making it too expensive for you.
 

Wag

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Aug 24, 2008
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#11
Jip, received 3 out of 4. I think the problem is with our oily kfc fingers PO employees.
 

zantetsuken

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#13
So basically I'll get a notice delivered to my address and I'll take it from there to the post office.
What happens if the notice gets lost or doesn't get delivered, how would I then be able to collect my parcel?

Even if 1/4 of my orders don't arrive it still works out cheaper than paying R196.00 per unit with EMS. I'm paying R75 per unit via China Post Airmail and the product sells locally for as cheap as R180 per unit (Best bidorbuy price). You can see how I would have difficulty moving the product into the market using EMS with such competition.

If 25% of parcels get lost in transit, it would increase average costs by R19 on average per unit making it R94 per unit on average as opposed to R196.00 per unit with EMS. If EMS would bring their prices down to something more reasonable I wouldn't hesitate to use them.
 
Last edited:

wolverine_dcp

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Jul 30, 2013
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4,575
#14
Hello, I'm starting up a new business and I decided import my products from China as it seems to be the only way to be competitive in today's market.

I placed an order through Aliexpress via China Post, through Aliexpress you have to designate a physical address for delivery. So here are my questions:

1. Does China Post track the parcel internationally, if not how will I find out where the item is once it's in South Africa (eg. Which Customs in specific)?

2. Where can I pick up the item, or will it be delivered to my doorstep?

3. My buyer protection ends in 60 days but according to the supplier delivery can take between 15-60 days, should I be concerned?

Thank you :)
I am addicted to aliexpress, well that's what my wife would say.i order all the time never had an issue with customs.what I can tell you is that it does take long to come, any time from 1-2 months.
I ordered anything from clothing, ps3 controllers, watches, led lights, baby clothing , cellphone accessories ect. I been luck that I had no issues with tracking my stuff.my advice would be read the feedback section, that seems to help me with whether to buy from that sell or not.
 

wolverine_dcp

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4,575
#15
Also one parcel with 6 controllers took longer than three months I complained to the seller he sent them again eventually I received both parcels. So I received 12 ps3 controllers I told the seller he said no problem because I always buy from his store.
 

zantetsuken

Active Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
34
#16
I am addicted to aliexpress, well that's what my wife would say.i order all the time never had an issue with customs.what I can tell you is that it does take long to come, any time from 1-2 months.
I ordered anything from clothing, ps3 controllers, watches, led lights, baby clothing , cellphone accessories ect. I been luck that I had no issues with tracking my stuff.my advice would be read the feedback section, that seems to help me with whether to buy from that sell or not.
Wow, that's great! Did you also use China Post as your shipping method?
 

zantetsuken

Active Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
34
#17
Also one parcel with 6 controllers took longer than three months I complained to the seller he sent them again eventually I received both parcels. So I received 12 ps3 controllers I told the seller he said no problem because I always buy from his store.
Lucky fish! What did you do with the rest of the controllers? :)
 

zantetsuken

Active Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
34
#20
Yes, I only used expensive shipping once when I need my flash to arrive in 7 days
Thanks, I feel a lot more reassured after hearing about your experiences, I received my tracking number but it isn't working yet. Apparently it can take 5-10 days to register, I'm okay with that. :)
 
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